Barrel of excuses runs low after E8 brewery raid

London Fields Brewery office door (to right of 3some) 031214 ©

* UPDATE 050315: London Fields Brewery has made its brewing staff in London Fields redundant and boosted its sales division as it buys in beer made in Lincolnshire and the home counties breweries. An LFB selling point used to be that its beers were “hand-crafted in Hackney”. 


YOU HAVE to give some credit to London Fields Brewery in its time of trouble.

To say that ales are “out of stock” because of “warehouse issues” when its founder has been arrested in a dawn raid at his home as, meanwhile, a forklift truck has been shovelling equipment and papers out of the brewery and into a lorry to be removed for analysis by the Revenue and Customs shows a certain sang froid.

Warehouse issues, eh? The truth is a little more colourful: Jules Whiteway, who runs the brewery, was sentenced in 2004 to 12 years in prison for leading a drugs gang and had to return to court a few weeks ago because he owed millions of pounds.

Whiteway was a trained pilot. In between coke-and-sex orgies in Hoxton, he specialised in flying cocaine from Spain to England. What kind of plane he used is not known. Perhaps it is idle to speculate, but what a carrier would have been one of the ex-RAF V-bombers offered not that long ago for public sale.

One of the decommissioned V-bombers: room for tonnes of coke – and an orgy

Allowed out of jail on licence several years before the sentence was due to end, he set up the beer business. Last week, however, a Revenue official said its officers had arrested a 42-year-old man on suspicion of “cheating the Revenue” of VAT.

The brewery hit the headlines when this site revealed that Whiteway owed millions of pounds under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court in November this year 2014 gave the private-school-educated businessman full name Julian de Vere Whiteway-Wilkinson more time to repay the money.

What’s brewing at the LFB?
What’s brewing at the LFB?

The brewery has not responded to repeated requests for a comment.

Hamish Scott 041214

* Main picture: VAT inspectors and a man leave the brewery

* Backstory: Drugs past, Brewer makes his name in Hackney and New brewery launched

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2 thoughts on “Barrel of excuses runs low after E8 brewery raid

  1. Let’s clear this up, if you are let out of prison early, you are put on licence. You have not served your time.

    If you break the law again, you go back inside for the rest of the sentence.

    I should know — it happened to an ex friend of mine. He, too, thought he was cleverer than the powers-that-be.

    He was a fool.

    A concise and useful explanation. Until this case, I had not heard the on-licence terminology. Is it recent? — Ed.

  2. Anyone who drinks at the brewery is essentially covering the tax bill for a convicted coke dealer. Shame, as the beer was nice. but knowing what I know now, I will never drink there again.

    A lot of people have been saying they will boycott the brewery. It should be said that the man has served his time. Let us hope that the business, much needed as it is in these times, becomes as tasty as its best ales. – Ed.

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